Tom Heckenkamp, 79, died at his home in Simi Valley, Calif., on March 11, 2013, after battling multiple illnesses. His wife and daughter were at his bedside as he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Tom was born in Quincy, on April 28, 1933, to Robert and Evelyn Heckenkamp who preceded him in death. He attended St. Mary's Grade School. In 1952 Tom married his Notre Dame High School sweetheart, Pat Wiegmann.
He remained close to his surviving brothers, Robert Heckenkamp of Springfield, Ill., and James Heckenkamp of Quincy, and his two surviving sisters, Bette Becks of St. Charles, Mo., and Evelyn Jansen of Quincy.
All of the sons worked at Heckenkamp Florists, the family business founded in 1882. Tom and Pat left Quincy in 1952 to open a wholesale florist branch in Centralia, Ill. In 1962 Tom sold his share of the family business but never lost his love of flowers. He then packed up his family, which now included daughters, Kathy and Cindi, and moved to California.
Each job brought new challenges whether it was selling insurance, operating an art gallery, assisting several florists, becoming district sales manager at Lever Brothers (an international soap company), and eventually starting his own food brokerage business. Tom then ventured into the oil and gas business. He traveled around the globe for business and pleasure and always wanted Pat to be his traveling companion. During his retirement, Tom mentored younger entrepreneurs.
Tom will be remembered most as an unforgettable man who cherished his family. He played golf and enjoyed bowling in his youth. The family had season tickets to the L.A. Rams and L.A. Raiders football teams. Tom also attended Angels and Dodgers baseball games. He delighted in watching his grandchildren's and great-grandson's soccer games, grandson's martial arts exhibitions, and other sports. Sunday pool parties and family meals were the highlight of his week. Making popcorn for his grandchildren was a special treat. Gardening was a passion and the family enjoyed eating his homegrown tomatoes.
Immediate surviving family members include Tom's wife of 61 years, Pat Heckenkamp; daughter, Kathy Reed of Simi Valley; daughter, Cindi Cooper and grandchildren, Kelly and Trevor Cooper of Camarillo, Calif.; grandson, Tim Reed of Santa Barbara, Calif.; grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Patrick and Marisol Reed, and four great-grandchildren, Parker, Mason, Liam and Marla Reed of Sylmar, Calif. Other surviving family members include his above-mentioned siblings as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Tom was the life of any gathering. He loved to laugh and tell a good story. Tom will be missed by those who knew and loved him.
SERVICES: Friday, March 15, in Rose Family Mortuary Chapel, conducted by the Rev. Joseph Shea of St. Rose of Lima parish. Internment followed at Assumption Cemetery in Simi Valley. A reception to celebrate Tom's life was held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Camarillo, Calif.
ARRANGEMENTS: Rose Family Mortuary Chapel, Simi Valley.